How to Survive Your Child’s Sport

Having your child participate in sport gives them life experiences they won’t get any where else: working with others, making friends and turning you checking account into their own personal lottery. Yep, you will be forced to refinance your home so your kids can run around in a park and catch every cold known to man so they can have fond memories later on in life. What you’ll remember is the Great Flu Epidemic of 05 and how even poor Spot got it. Here are the steps I learned to survive it:

First of all, when your child signs up for these programs not only is there a fee involved but equipment too. Make sure to ask what is required for your child to have for their activity. There are knee pads, cleats, running shoes, shin guards, balls (good for practice at home-OUTSIDE), tutus, leotards and many other extras that you’ll be most likely tripping over in the living room six months from now. And don’t think that these items will only be used for sports; did you know cleats leave marks on foreheads? Or that if you put the football pads on twenty-nine pound 2 year old and twirl him in the office chair he will still fly off and still get hurt? Several superstores, such as Wal-Mart, Target and Fred Meyer, carry these things and even second-hand sports shops have this stuff at good prices. But watch out for the kids in body casts, whatever they’re bringing back is obviously bad luck.

Second, plan on not having any life whatsoever. Hair appointment? Grocery shopping? Forget it! You’re going to look like Bigfoot’s girlfriend from the trailer park by the time this is all over. Most sports programs have practices anywhere from four thirty in the afternoon on up and games on the weekends. As you’ve probably already guessed, you can’t live on Burger King every night. Food such as hot dogs, frozen burritos or hot pockets and even sandwiches are the way to go. But as I found out, even last week’s lint-laden crayon/French fry mix that got stuck in the backseat are perfectly acceptable. Basically anything that can be nuked in the micro in just a few minutes saves the agony of hearing the little ones cry that they are hungry half an hour later.

Another tip is keeping a packed bag in you car with this list of essentials:

1. Small toys
2. Ziploc baggies of Cheerios, crackers, etc.
3. Magazine
4. Baby wipes, band-aids
5. Water
6. Suntan lotion
7. Collapsible canvas chair
8. Duct Tape

The toys should be ones that don’t have much value to the child. Of course, if your two years old, a plastic bottle cap is MINEMINEMINE! Little cars, army guys, a little shovel, plastic bugs, an old doll – if they get broken it won’t matter much and they can be easily replaced from the vast array of crap your child’s toy box. Snacks are essential; baby wipes for sticky little fingers and water to keep everyone happy. I don’t think I need to explain everything else, wellâÂ?¦except for the duct tape. But I think if you’re a parent, this last item is self-explanatory (why do you think Wal-Mart has them up front near the registers?). I hear tranquilizer darts are illegal and with all those witnesses, it just gets confusing to explain to police. I hope this will help you survive in some small way, if not, use the tape.

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